E-Pitti's digital initiatives popular with fashion buyers
E-Pitti.com, the online project launched by trade show organiser Pitti Immagine in June 2011 for the Pitti Uomo, Bimbo and Filati shows, is proving increasingly popular with buyers, allowing brands to boost the business results of the physical Pitti events.
The last winter season brought a significant across-the-board increase in site traffic compared to the same period last year, with Pitti Uomo 91 up 3.5%, Pitti Bimbo 84 up 8.2% and Pitti Filati 80 posting an 11.4% growth.
A total of 1,356 brands featured their collections online on E-Pitti.com, with 8,096 products. Buyers from 108 countries visited the sites, Italy leading ahead of Japan, Spain, Germany, the UK, the USA, Russia, Turkey, France and South Korea. The sites hosted over 65,500 pictures taken at the shows, and totalled 420,000 page views, with 32% of visits coming from smartphones and 8% from tablets.
"What is significant is that E-Pitti has generated a 13% increase in traffic and contacts compared to the previous season," said Raffaello Napoleone, the CEO of Pitti Immagine, to FashionNetwork.com. "It is a way of adding to our mailing list, which currently runs to approximately 60,000 names."
While Pitti Immagine is satisfied with the increase in online visibility, the show organiser is working on a new look to accompany the June editions, introducing new editorial content on the sites and paving the way for new services. "We are constantly looking for innovative solutions to support the business of our main target segments: brands and buyers," said Francesco Bottigliero, CEO of E-Pitti.com and of FieraDigitale (Digital fair). "With Ready-to-Order, the B2B order collection app launched in January 2016, we introduced digital tools to a process which still mostly employs traditional, typically offline resources. About forty brands are using the ready-to-order service, and our forecast is to reach 80 by the end of the fiscal year. We are collaborating productively for several brands with the Guffanti Concept showroom," said Bottigliero.
Alessandra Guffanti noted how the main positive is the system's accessibility, making it an efficient engine for generating scalable opportunities, and allowing SMEs to carry out well-structured B2B activities. The Italian fashion industry does feature a host of medium and small-sized companies which usually cannot benefit from custom-designed software, because of budget limitations too.
Another Pitti Immagine initiative zeroing in on new technology is the 5th edition of 'Decoded Fashion Milan', scheduled on 14th-15th November, an international fashion tech forum introduced by E-Pitti.com in 2013. The event brings together the industry's leading players for two days dedicated to innovation in the fashion system.
"One of the novelties for 2017 is the demise of the Fashion Pitch competition, replaced by The Front Row Pitch. The format debuted in New York as a start-up competition, the entrants showcasing their projects before a jury of experts," said Francesco Bottigliero. "We are also staging a creativity contest between five emerging international designers who, backed by a fashion mentor each and by a technology partner, will take up the challenge of integrating digital tools in their collections.
Decoded Fashion 2017 will focus on two main themes. The first is how digital rhymes with daring. The fashion industry is steeped in tradition but it is crucial to broadcast the message that it needs to embrace digital technology to drive future growth. The event will illustrate this by presenting several digital fashion success stories. The second key theme is big data and how digital information can be best exploited," concluded Bottigliero.
"Our strategy is increasingly devoted to turning [Pitti] into more than a series of trade shows, into fashion know-how hubs, featuring major events and a service organisation, said Raffaello Napoleone. We don't want to overlap with industry associations but we wish to become a touchstone for the community of professionals and experts who join us twice yearly for the Pitti trade shows. Show organisers must be seen as service providers and facilitators of strategic operations."
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